Wednesday, June 21st, 7.30pm, St Peter De Beauvoir.
WINNER OF THE SUMMER DEBATE:
OLIVER BULLOUGH: “Transparency will save democracy and capitalism”
Oliver grew up in Wales, studied Modern History at Oxford and moved to St Petersburg in 1999. He stayed in Russia for much of the next seven years, working mostly as a correspondent for Reuters specialising in Chechnya and the Caucasus region.
On returning to Britain in 2006 he wanted to write more about his experiences in Chechnya. The result was Let Our Fame Be Great, a travel and history book published by Penguin in 2010, which described his journeys to find the scattered peoples of the mountains. It was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in the UK, and won the Cornelius Ryan award in the US.
His second book, The Last Man in Russia, was published to brilliant reviews in 2013. He lives in London with his wife and son.
KASSANDRA GORDON: “Public speaking is the cornerstone of change and innovation”
Kassandra is a Hackney based jewellery designer, social entrepreneur and Toastmaster. She studied at Holts Academy (part of the University of the Arts).
Kassandra is a member of 104 Debaters (a Toastmaster speciality debating club) and has an MA in Social Research from the University of Warwick. She is the incoming Area Director at Toastmasters, and will be responsible for looking after six public speaking clubs in London.
ANGUS KENNEDY: “What’s wrong with borders?”
Angus is the author of Being Cultured: In defence of discrimination, and writes on culture and the philosophy of freedom. He is also the convenor of the Institute of Ideas’ educational initiative The Academy which he established in 2011 as a modest attempt to demonstrate – over four days of reading and discussion – what university should be like and so rarely is. Angus has MAs in Classics from Christ Church, Oxford and Linguistics from Birkbeck College London, as well as an MPhil in Artificial Intelligence from Dundee University. He works in information technology management consultancy.
Julia Hobsbawm: “In the age of overload, we need to look after our social health.”
Julia Hobsbawm is Honorary Visiting Professor at London’s Cass Business School and is the author of books and articles on networks, communication, social health, women in business, and the future of the workplace. She wrote and presented the five-part BBC Radio 4 series “Networking Nation” and the new “Six Degrees of Connection” for BBC Radio 4. Her latest book is “Fully Connected: Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Overload” (Bloomsbury).
Azeem Azhar: “Tech can make our futures better and brighter.”
Azeem Azhar is a strategist, inventor, product entrepreneur and writer. He has been working with technology ever since discovering his first computer, the ZX-81, in 1981. He covered technology for The Guardian and The Economist and worked in strategy and innovation at the BBC and Thomson Reuters. Recently Azeem was founder and CEO of PeerIndex. He is currently Vice President, Head of Venture & Foresight at the Schibsted Media Group. He blogs at The Exponential View.
Mark Chavez: “It’s time to flip who owns the data and disrupt the Cloud.”
Mark Chavez is the former CIO at Salesforce.com. He worked on building cloud computing for the enterprise, disrupting the software industry. He has launched a new start-up based in the UK and focused on completely disrupting the Cloud and its business model.
Dr David Maguire: “We need to talk about masculinity”.
Dr David Maguire researches modern masculinity at Oxford University’s School of Geography and the Environment. His work on the interplay of masculinity, education, place, crime and incarceration was influential in the RSA’S recent ‘Future Prison Project’. @Dee0871
Lara Prendergast: “Technology has taken over the mind.”
Lara Pendergast is online editor for The Spectator and food and drink editor for Spectator Life. She has perviously worked at the Telegraph and Vogue India, and has written for the Financial Times, the Evening Standard, the Erotic Review and Apollo Magazine. @
Josh Spero: “How can a Jew love Wagner?”
SEAN O’CALLAGHAN wins the autumn debate with his insights into the totalitarian mindset.
“To tackle extremism we must recognise what unites totalitarians.”
Sean O’Callaghan is a writer and expert on exremist ideology. He is also a former member of the IRA. In 1988 he handed himself in and was given a 539-year prison sentence by a Belfast court before finally being pardoned in 1997. His most recent book was published this year, marking the anniversary of th Easter Rising “James Connolly: My Search for the Man, the Myth and his legacy”.‘The Informer’, was published in 1999.
“What Britain needs now is hygge.”
Signe Johansen is a Norwegian chef, author and journalist, with a special interest in the anthropology and ‘soft power’ of food and Nordic culture. She ran the acclaimed EastScandi supper club in London, which was featured in the New Yorker. Her forthcoming book, “How to Hygge” (Panmacmillan), explores how hygge (which roughly translates to “cosiness” but encompasses humanity and empathy) is central to the Nordic sense of happiness and wellbeing.
“Demagogues are a necessary menace.”
Richard Mollet was a parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party in South West Surrey in 2010. He is currently head of European Government Affairs at the RELX Group, which owns Elsevier and LexisNexis, working on public policy issues on copyright, digital rights and Brexit. Previously he spent five years as CEO of The Publishers Association.
LOCATION: St Peter De Beauvoir, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA
TIME: Arrive at 7pm for prompt 7.30pm starts. Ends at 9.30pm.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
7.30pm, St Peter De Beauvoir Crypt
Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4HDA
On the eve of Britain’s historic referendum, the De Beauvoir Balloon Debate opens its doors to three passionate speakers.
“Europe without the EU would be at the mercy of the past.”
Ian Dunt is the editor of politics.co.uk. He specialises in issues around immigration, civil liberties, democracy, free speech and social justice and appears regularly on the BBC, Sky and Al-Jazeera as well as a variety of radio stations.
“Democracy needs the nation state.”
Jon Holbrook is a barrister based in London. He was shortlisted for the Legal Journalism prize at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2014.
“The referendum is asking us to dismantle the political order. We should answer yes.”
Ella Whelan is a staff writer at Spiked Online. She also writes regularly for the Spectator and City AM.
The evening is produced in partnership with the London Legal Salon.
“The Labour Party of Attlee is dead.”
Dr John Bew is a historian and author whose fifth book, a biography of Clement Attlee. As a reader in History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King’s College London, and senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, he recently published a history of Realpolitik. John is a contributing writer to the New Statesman.
“Party cultures change but member values survive.”
Kate Godfrey is a former candidate for the Labour Party, and fought a key seat (Stafford) in 2015. She later bid to be a candidate in the Oldham by-election. Kate writes a popular blog and has contributed to debates over the direction of the Labour Party. Prior to politics, she worked for many years in Africa and the Middle East.
“We need to talk about solidarity.”
Roger Harding is director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter. He is a frequent commentator on public policy issues relating to housing and welfare. Previously, he was senior policy & public affairs manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.